Dispute: Angela Stefanski - NES / FAMICOM / DISK - The Legend of Zelda - NTSC - Fastest Completion [1st Quest] - Player: Rodrigo Lopes - Score: 31:37.0

Is this a valid dispute?

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This poll is closed
  1. 11-12-2019, 08:48 AM
    "I have devoted my available time and knowledge to the site, helped many people"

    While yes, you may have helped out people on TG, but you never offered any help to the people from SDA who asked. People who were curious about your routes, strategies, tricks and so on. This was however a quite common thing on both SDA and TG. Though there was at least communication at SDA; people talked about strategies and shared ideas.

    Your first (not counting your guest posts) post on SDA addresses this as well:
    https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/...nd_of_zelda271

    It's understandable to want to challenge yourself in this way, to see how far you can go on your own. Though when it comes to any kind of competition to grow forward, you need to be able to share advice and take advice to others. The speedrun community grew enormously from this. It's why times are keep being pushed lower and lower, while new things can still be discovered in old games. This is impossible to achieve on your own. Quoting Radix, former site-owner at SDA:
    "Here's a hint to everyone. I'm GLAD when someone beats ANY run i have EVER done. That's the POINT of speed running. To see the fastest run. It doesn't matter if it's yours or if your previous run just helped the current record. The point is that it's faster."

    This is the general mentality and one of the reasons why speedrun sites kept growing while TG fell into the dust. Most players here were, and still are, only caring about being #1 and bragging about how many records you have, part of your PM to Jace includes this still. Old quote from you to me:
    "I don't need that nobody believes!
    My only intention is that you know which is the current record in Zelda because I am a player very dedicated in this I title and you also."

    When you then, at SDA, show up saying thing in the meaning of: Hi, I have a new record which no one will ever see or know anything about, please admire my awesome skills. (No exact quote) You also made fun of people and called them "weak", because we were sharing strategies and helped to push the times. Of course people won't be happy, of course people won't like you for it. Before these posts, there was no hate towards you.

    Later on, you asked for some help in the A Link to the Past topic at SDA, which I provided gladly. With you eventually saying:
    "some time ago I discussed with Tompa but we talk and we turned friends"
    I do consider myself a nice person and I have no hate against anyone. It's just very frustrating to know when someone refuses to help "people in need" because of selfish reasons.

    Eventually, you posted videos from a lot of your records, some of the individual level times for certain games were also the whole run. People appreciated this effort a lot, that you took the time to do it, there was no hate towards you here either. For the longer runs, only seeing the last few minutes was however a disappointment. and we had loved to see more of them. Like:
    "Your battle with Ganon in A Link to the Past was absolutely brilliant. It's too bad I couldn't see the full run."

    This is what we have always wanted: To see the run. I never doubted your gameplay abilities. It's just too bad that the world will never know. Many of your runs were impressive at the time, like your Zelda runs. To see, admire and give respect for your accomplishment. All of your Zelda records have long been obsoleted, all of your strategies have certainly already been found by all the dedicated players. We can't credit anything to you, as you never shared them. We can't admire your gameplay skills, as we have barely seen them. We can't trust the record, as we haven't seen it.

    To be honest, I don't care too much if the runs are spliced or not. When I found out that TSA had spliced most of his Zelda runs, I didn't inform people about it at once. He had already retired, many of his runs were already improved. Spliced or not, but his runs started the Zelda speedrun community in a way, he was a pioneer in that regard. It made people excited to see the runs and it brought a lot of players to the scene, myself included. If you, back then, had showed your runs, people would have looked at your differently. You would be remembered as "That great Zelda player", instead of "That guy who refused to share anything."

    It was true 12-13 years ago, and it's still true today...
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  2. 11-12-2019, 09:24 AM
    I just wanna point out the global rules of the site which is located here: https://www.twingalaxies.com/help.php#tab-16

    This is the activities that could get you banned for life page. One of them is "Deliberate cheating of any kind". Included is the explanation of "While we understand that a lifetime ban can seem pretty harsh, we feel that this position is necessary to take to build and maintain the community confidence in the scoreboard during this new era of Twin Galaxies." This is the global rules of the site so I dunno why people get a free pass. Also it's weird to me that only half the scores get removed but the other half remain up. There is another Zelda dispute thread for Four Swords that is just as damning. So here you got a guy that has cheated on multiple runs and will only receive half the punishment any other person would face. That kind of stuff doesn't build or maintain community confidence.
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  3. 11-12-2019, 10:42 AM
    I would like to point people in the direction of this dispute. Rodrigo was fully cooperative with this one. I believe only because it was suggested that the time would be changed instead of removed. It is also proof that what he uploaded to YouTube is the actual runs he submitted since he confirmed it in this thread. This dispute also has talk of his Zelda runs as well.

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthr...-22-57-0/page2
  4. 11-12-2019, 12:16 PM
    Let's not pull punches.

    Pre-TGSAP Twin Galaxies has a well earned reputation as a scoreboard riddled with fake scores, cheaters, even criminal referees. This is no secret.

    We post-TGSAP members have to deal with comments from other communities every time we interact with them:
    "TG still trying to be relevant?"
    "TG won't even remove BLATENT fake scores!!""
    "NO VID NO DID!!! How hard is that??"
    "We moved on. You suckers stayed there and deserve what you get"
    etc.

    If a member is found to have cheated ALL scores should be removed. We need to restore credibility or at least work towards that. Removing some scores but not others does a dis-service to the integrity of Twin Galaxies and the morale of the community.

    I say that if Rodrigo Lopes is found guilty of cheating, all his scores should be removed. Players who voted on his scores will lose earned submission points and credibility but they should not be further punished as if they were wrong about the TGSAP votes.

    I don't think I am the only person with this point of view.
    RTM was right. D'ohFake and Markrappenhammer are troublemakers.
    Creator of Arcade Retro Clock


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  5. 11-12-2019, 04:41 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by mrturk View Post
    RTM has not posted anything in a while so would it be worth it to reach out to him again just to make sure that he has not found any new tapes that might not have been sent out in that cache? Additionally, does anyone have any contact information for Shawn Cram or Brian Kuh


    RTM REPLY - this will be my last response to this open matter as I am sick and tired of dealing with [ REMOVED BY ADMIN ] with their tag-team replies to anything that I state.

    -> I have no "new tapes" that have not been sent out...I was no longer a TG staffer when the tapes left my possession back on Nov/07 and had not been sent any more VHS tapes after I resigned on Dec19/06 or whatever date that was as it's been awhile and I do not readily remember that precise day.

    -> I found out a few weeks back where that large cache of tapes currently resides and passed that info onto both Jace and Dave. While the tapes were indeed delivered by Brian Kuh they did not end up going to Shawn Cram but someone else who is well known to me...I did not know this until only a few weeks back. In any event, it is up to Jace/TG if they wish to re-acquire the cache in question.

    -> With the sole exception of all THPS 1 & 2 tapes, and a small handful of select performances (all of which that I recollected have been passed on to Jace/Dave to re-acquire should they choose to do so), every VHS tape sent to me were transported by Brian Kuh. Once the tapes left my possession I performed no "follow up" as to the actual delivery. From prior posts I explained that at that point in time the tapes were "abandoned property" under NYS abandoned property law. I would have been within my legal rights to flat-out throw them into a city dump had I opted to do so, but arrangements were made to preserve the tapes for TG's benefit.
    Last edited by TWIN GALAXIES; 11-12-2019 at 05:14 PM.
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  6. 11-12-2019, 04:53 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Tompa View Post
    This is what we have always wanted: To see the run. I never doubted your gameplay abilities. It's just too bad that the world will never know. Many of your runs were impressive at the time, like your Zelda runs. To see, admire and give respect for your accomplishment. All of your Zelda records have long been obsoleted, all of your strategies have certainly already been found by all the dedicated players. We can't credit anything to you, as you never shared them. We can't admire your gameplay skills, as we have barely seen them. We can't trust the record, as we haven't seen it.

    To be honest, I don't care too much if the runs are spliced or not. When I found out that TSA had spliced most of his Zelda runs, I didn't inform people about it at once. He had already retired, many of his runs were already improved. Spliced or not, but his runs started the Zelda speedrun community in a way, he was a pioneer in that regard. It made people excited to see the runs and it brought a lot of players to the scene, myself included. If you, back then, had showed your runs, people would have looked at your differently. You would be remembered as "That great Zelda player", instead of "That guy who refused to share anything."

    It was true 12-13 years ago, and it's still true today...
    Yeah, I kind of agree with Tompa. When I first saw the player in question's scores/times I didn't really doubt the actual gameplay ability. I did find it strange that the player behaved the way he did on other websites that are known to require video proof and where players generally want to help each other and this player seemed to contradict those standards. This has been well documented through the links Starcrytas, Tompa, and Ninglendo have provided. I can't really speak for the other Zelda games, but I am 100% sure that the player in question has made no effort to prove this a legitimate submission any time in the last 13 years as he claimed in the document he sent to Jace. The only items of interest that I know of that ever existed are the "final moments" video that's already been posted throughout the thread and then a few random sentences that have also been documented in links throughout the thread.

    I think it's important to consider how this case might have unfolded if the "final moments" video did not exist. In that case the evidence would mostly be circumstantial in nature. The case would probably boil down whether the player could demonstrate they were an "expert" on the title and could at least answer questions pertaining to the route. The player in question has not even demonstrated that with the only relevant piece of information being something they said along the lines of: "I can improve large seconds. If monsters drop bombs at the right moments but very difficult." Although this statement is true it's not enough to prove a player proficient enough to obtain a legit 31:37 in 2006 under the TG settings for this track. Despite the run being rather short compared to ALTTP or Ocarina there is a ton of stuff that can go wrong as the top runners of the game today can probably attest to. Enemy randomness, specifically in dungeons 5, 6, 8, and 9 can vary greatly causing large variations in times/splits when comparing runs. The swordfighting can be rather stiff resulting in Link missing strikes or enemies approaching from odd angles like bats on ladders that he is not able to kill before being hit. I think if you asked the top runners today I think they would agree that a fair approximation would be about 1/100 runs might have a chance of reaching Level 9 on either PB or WR pace. What makes the TG settings for this track unique is that none of the glitches used in the runs today would be allowed so those would include no block clipping, screen wrapping, screen scrolling, using "save" to win the gambling game consistently etc. There would be more randomness in the TG settings since it would require an extra room of combat in dungeon 5 (darknuts), 4 extra rooms of combat in level 9, and roughly an additional 2 minutes of overworld walking time since you would need to actually walk across each screen. In general, when you increase the randomness in a speedrun it also increases the number of failed attempts and accompanying resets. How does this apply to this dispute? It makes it much LESS likely that someone who has not demonstrated an intricate knowledge of the game, like the player in question, could ever complete a run of this caliber at the time they said they did it. In fact IMO, a legit 31:37 in 2006 would probably be a top 5 all time speedrun as far as I am concerned considering the time period and the fact that there was a much smaller knowledge base even it was played under an antiquated rule set compared to today due to knowing the difficulty and the randomness the player would have had to overcome. But as Tompa mentioned the player in question has indirectly cost themselves any praise or glory that might have been rewarded if any of these runs were legit.

    With that being said it is unlikely that circumstantial evidence alone would have been enough to overcome the high "burden of proof" TG would need to do something about this submission. I can see the merits to the arguments put forth by Ninglendo and Datagod of a complete removal of all scores both TGSAP and non-TGSAP depending on the forthcoming decision. However, I can also see why Jace suggested only the removal of the non-TGSAP depending on the outcome. If we could all just wave a magic wand and make the database right again I think we would do that. However, I think having some patience and knowing that it is going to take a while is the best mindset. The bottom line is that none of us really know what TG is going to do yet. Everyone should take solace in the fact that the most relevant facts and information have been gathered and presented. The hard work has already been completed. Now is the time to show patience and it would surprise me if a ruling was not made within a week. I think in the end TG will make the correct decision.
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  7. 11-12-2019, 05:12 PM
    We've done all we can, now we just have to wait and see what happens while hoping for the best.
    Lauren Tyler
    Eternal Champion of Ragol
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  8. 11-12-2019, 05:17 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by RTM View Post
    RTM REPLY - this will be my last response to this open matter as I am sick and tired of dealing with Marcrap and The Three Stooges with their tag-team replies to anything that I state.

    -> I have no "new tapes" that have not been sent out...I was no longer a TG staffer when the tapes left my possession back on Nov/07 and had not been sent any more VHS tapes after I resigned on Dec19/06 or whatever date that was as it's been awhile and I do not readily remember that precise day.

    -> I found out a few weeks back where that large cache of tapes currently resides and passed that info onto both Jace and Dave. While the tapes were indeed delivered by Brian Kuh they did not end up going to Shawn Cram but someone else who is well known to me...I did not know this until only a few weeks back. In any event, it is up to Jace/TG if they wish to re-acquire the cache in question.

    -> With the sole exception of all THPS 1 & 2 tapes, and a small handful of select performances (all of which that I recollected have been passed on to Jace/Dave to re-acquire should they choose to do so), every VHS tape sent to me were transported by Brian Kuh. Once the tapes left my possession I performed no "follow up" as to the actual delivery. From prior posts I explained that at that point in time the tapes were "abandoned property" under NYS abandoned property law. I would have been within my legal rights to flat-out throw them into a city dump had I opted to do so, but arrangements were made to preserve the tapes for TG's benefit.

    Thank you for responding Robert and I am sorry for the irritation it may have caused you.
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  9. 11-12-2019, 09:28 PM
    [ POST REMOVED BY ADMIN FOR BEING INSTIGATIVE AND OFF TOPIC ]
    Last edited by TWIN GALAXIES; 11-14-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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  10. 11-13-2019, 08:01 PM
    Below, please find an update on this dispute claim deliberation as well as answers to some concerns voiced within the dispute claim:

    The evidence presented in support of this dispute claim is reasonably-researched, supported by experts in the field, highly suggestive and compelling to the point that the score in question can no longer be supported by Twin Galaxies, and in the absence of any new mitigating evidence, TG will likely accept the dispute claim purely on the evidentiary basis present.

    However, as compelling and comprehensive as the evidence is, it does not definitively prove that the score claim initially accepted by a TG referee did not happen or is absolutely impossible to achieve under the original submission claim.

    It is clearly stated and shown by participants in the dispute claim thread that the score performance is in fact possible. It is also shown in the dispute claim thread that although the performance may be possible, it is highly improbable to occur as originally claimed.

    There have been various concerns and opinions regarding Twin Galaxies' policies requiring its exacting standard of proof for historical score removal as being too pedantic or serious. To make a comparison, these individuals/communities have indicated that their standard of collective proof in regard to adjudicating and accepting this speed run performance dispute claim would have been met some time ago, and that Twin Galaxies demonstrates either incompetence or an inability to understand how to take action.

    The quip of "no vid, no did" is a bit of a misrepresentation of some of the policies used in various communities. It could more accurately be described as "If there is no video, the performance can not be listed" - which can work just fine for certain types of listing approaches - especially now that the ability to have video evidence for something is so ubiquitous.

    Unfortunately that "no vid, no did" policy fails as a listing methodology if the record keeping premise of your list includes the idea of preserving score performance history that pre-dates the ubiquity of video.

    Before it was possible to easily show everyone in the world a video of a score performance, there was still a desire among video game players to receive measurement and recognition for their achievements in a way that produced permanence along with the ability for the public to reference that permanence. There needed to be a 3rd party that would adjudicate and verify "that something happened" and that "it was what it was claimed to be."

    Twin Galaxies filled that 3rd party verification role for many gamers for many years.

    For those score achievements, and for those people, Twin Galaxies authentication and permanent record system had meaning then and it has meaning now. Due to this, Twin Galaxies stores a lot of historical video game achievement data.

    So while it is very easy to have a "no vid, no did" policy now to get new things on to the list, it becomes very dangerous to simply drop historic things off the list just because there is no available video today. Doing so is the equivalent of saying that something that very much did happen to the extent it could be verified at the time, never actually did.

    If the goal is to work to preserve achievement, both current and historical, it is important that Twin Galaxies is very detailed, thorough and focused in its processes - and treats both current and historical scores with the full scope of thought that is needed to maintain both uniquely.

    Not only does Twin Galaxies not want to make a mistake, it also wants to be 100% confident in its process and results in the event that it has to engage in legal proceedings as a result of its decision.

    The legal factor is something that few consider when they wonder why Twin Galaxies takes the steps that it does in dispute claim evaluation.

    We can imagine that as other communities eventually have to deal with some of the potential consequential legal ramifications of their policies and practices over time, they may choose to adapt to those challenges in whatever ways they feel are best, just as Twin Galaxies has needed to do.

    As we all know, just because something is highly improbable, does not mean that it did not happen. This speed run has been objectively proven to be highly improbable, not definitively impossible. This is an important point that anyone seeking legal recourse will raise in their discussion. There must be a strong position for Twin Galaxies to take relative to that kind of claim, and frankly a strong position should exist regardless if a record is to be removed.

    Twin Galaxies is specifically focused on whether or not the submission is valid. Even in that narrow scope, where most of the evidence supports the assertion that the performance is not valid, its still not absolute - so, trying to determine whether or not actual cheating or misrepresentation took place on top of the invalidity determination based on the evidence provided is out of the question. Without hard absolute evidence within a dispute claim, Twin Galaxies is not evaluating Rodrigo Lopes' character in any regard - only the veracity of his speed run performance claim.

    There are individuals who will claim that there must have been "cheating" and would hope that Twin Galaxies would decree as such. Unfortunately, there is no specific proof of actual cheating provided in the dispute claim evidence. There is no evidence of how exactly was the cheating done. Twin Galaxies has to justify and explain if it is going to claim cheating specifically.

    Again, the evidence provided may show an improbable record, but there is no specific evidence of how or why that improbable record managed to get into the database, . Was a ref a friend? Was it an error? etc. Yes? Absolute proof?? There could be a bunch of explanations.

    For the moment, all the evidence objectively and strongly suggests, is that the run is very much not likely valid based on probability/circumstance and should be removed.

    Given the above, concluding that the record is invalid and therefore must be purely due to the result of cheating is a subjective determination at this current time. Certainly, anyone can have whatever opinion they want, but Twin Galaxies must have definitive and absolute proof before it can consider that avenue of thinking officially.

    It may not be inherently obvious to people, but Twin Galaxies must separate the concept of identifying an invalid score (which carries its own proof burden) and the nature of why the score is invalid (which carries a separate proof burden.) Most times, one is connected to the other - but it is very possible that they may not be. Twin Galaxies' primary concern is simply identifying invalid scores and removing them. The nature of why the score is invalid is secondary to the mission and is not an obstacle to record removal.

    (For those who are confused by this concept of separation, one example could be that referee accidentally entered a digit in the score incorrectly. Perhaps they entered 108 as a score when the score was 105. The score is successfully disputed on the basis that the game only scores in 5 point increments. This would be an invalid score in the database that had nothing to do with the submitter cheating. This example shows how a score could be invalid and the fact that it is invalid does not automatically mean the player cheated.)

    Without additional evidence being provided (we have been giving Rodrigo time to respond), this dispute has satisfied the invalidity requirement, but nothing more - as such, once a decision is made, we will be taking the score removal actions mentioned earlier in the thread and factoring in all the extenuating circumstances.

    The score removal actions will not be in regard to any Twin Galaxies' determination of "cheating" but instead are on the basis that if one of Rodrigo's historic non-TGSAP scores are deemed invalid based on the evidence presented, and we can not resolve the exact nature of the invalidity, then all of his non-TGSAP scores must be treated similarly by our system until the nature of this record invalidity is discovered.

    The ban that will be instituted upon Rodrigo will be on the basis of Rodrigo's deliberate and unsolicited claim to have the video performance tape in question, which can help resolve the matter - and his unwillingness to share it.

    While Rodrigo has no obligation to participate in the dispute claim, his decision to effectively taunt the community with his ownership of the performance tape and deliberately use its existence as a tool to frustrate other competitors when they have invested a tremendous amount of documented time supporting their legitimate questions about his performance is not in the spirit of fair competitive play or the kind of competitive behavior that Twin Galaxies wants to tolerate, encourage or support.

    We can understand if Rodrigo is frustrated by the challenge to his performance and wants to withhold his tape on principal, but his position of wanting continuing acknowledgement of his achievements in the face of significant and legitimate questions raised, along with the work done to justify those questions, absolutely warrant some reciprocation and response on his part.

    Twin Galaxies has determined that the evidence of this dispute claim strongly suggests that this speed run performance likely circumvented its older referee system, either through error on Twin Galaxies' part or by deliberate misrepresentation by the submitter. Twin Galaxies has offered the submitter the chance to stand up for themselves and re-assert their claim through this evidentiary process.

    If we do not hear from Rodrigo soon we will be closing this matter shortly.

    Thank you.
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